Over the last five decades I have watched Phil Baumann, my younger brother, face many challenges, but none as huge as this last year. September 2nd marks one year from the day that Phil learned about Glioblastoma Multiforme and the prognosis of this awful type of brain cancer that was causing him severe headaches and neurological issues. It began a long roller coaster ride that found Phil chugging determinedly up hill. When given bad news I would see Phil’s and his wife Misty’s sadness and despair, but only for moments as then they would rally and vow to fight the next stage. There were days that his immense network of friends, family and co-workers helped push him uphill, but more often than not, it was Phil pushing all of us to embrace the situation and turn it into something phenomenal!
When Phil’s tumor recurred in April he was accepted to a groundbreaking clinical trial at MD Anderson. After years of successful laboratory trials a team of doctors developed a live replicating virus named Delta 24 and finally the FDA had approved a small trial in humans. This smart bomb tackles this aggressive cancer from the inside out. In short, cancer cells allow the virus inside and as Delta 24 replicates it breaks the cancer cell apart destroying it and then the virus goes on to address the adjacent cancer cells. This modified cold virus is not accepted into healthy cells.
The Delta 24 research team at MD Anderson gave Phil and his family and friends hope where there had previously been little.
Phil was the last patient accepted in this trial. His tumor had recurred at precisely the right time to allow his participation and with the trial ending it was not immediately available to anyone else. As he quickly healed from surgery his thoughts turned to “what about someone who needs this tomorrow?” Funding the research became a priority for both Phil and Misty. Finding a CURE for brain cancer became a quest that their immense network of friends joined with determination and CureFest 2012 was born.
CureFest took on a life of its own as people and organizations from all over the country joined in. In just over 90 days it grew from an idea to a phenomenon.
With Phil’s tumor shrinking and him back working in the business he loves the CureFest Team gathered with Dr. Lang and Dr. Conrad from MD Anderson. The money raised at CureFest was tallied and a check for $150,000.00 was presented on Thursday.
Brain cancer is the least funded of all cancers and the pharmaceutical companies seem uninterested in its research. The incidence of brain cancer is increasing, especially in young people. Private funding is necessary to conquer this disease and I personally believe that the very humble doctors working with Delta 24 have discovered a process that will have huge implications in the treatment of many types of cancer.
Thank you to everyone involved in CureFest, it was an honor to work with you. Please visit www.CureFest.com to learn more and recognize the generous contributors, vendors, performers and sponsors. Your hard work was so worthwhile!
CureFest 2013 is in planning and you make donations to right now at www.CureFest.com.
Our family learned first hand of how little hope some patients with brain cancer have and also